Apple’s field trip to Aikahi Playground

I received an email from a mom, Summer, wanting to schedule a baby session for her 10-month-baby daughter (we’ll call her Apple).   Reading the email, Summer mentioned meeting me at a wedding awhile back and I somehow got the impression that she was a friend of the bride.  The bride, Grace, and I had gone on a mission trip together and Grace was marrying the youth pastor at my church.  Awesome.  I love how small these islands are.  I met up with Summer in a pre-session consultation at her home and when we were talking about possible locations, she brought up her parent’s farm.  I thought “oh, that’s neat.  Grace’s family has a farm.  I wonder if their farms are close together.  Hmmm, maybe that’s how they became friends.”  Then Summer was giving me a tour of her house and I noticed all these family pictures and thought “isn’t that Grace’s dad in that picture.  And he’s in that picture.  And that picture.”  So I asked “How do you know Grace again?”  And Summer responded “She’s my sister.  I thought you knew that.”   How did I miss that?  I’m such a dork.

As if I wasn’t excited already, now I was even more thrilled to be working with the family of someone I know very well.  There’s four sisters total and we must have all crossed paths when the youngest sister,  Grace, got married a few years ago.  I was helping with the wedding coordination and the family remembers me well for one very special aspect of the wedding.  I was assisting the pastor officiating the ceremony and one of my responsibilities was to set up communion for the bride and groom.  I put out a beautiful setting of a single glass of wine to be shared and a bread roll for them to share.  I’ve done it many times for weddings but it’s the bread roll that always throws me for a loop.  If you’ve ever tried to find it in stores, it is actually pretty difficult to find.  I ran to Foodland the morning of the ceremony and I was stoked when I found a roll quickly.  It was a little big but it would look really elegant on the communion plate. During the actual ceremony, I was in the back preoccupied by my wedding checklist.  When it came time for the couple to take communion together, soft music started playing and everyone quieted.  Then I heard hushed giggles spread through the crowd in the front rows.  I was straining my neck to try to see but I couldn’t figure out what was so funny.  I was even more curious when the ceremony ended and I saw people gathering around the communion table taking pictures of something.  I went to investigate and found the source of everyone’s delight.    In my haste at the grocery store, I had grabbed anpan bread.  Anpan bread is a Japanese sweet bun filled with a bean paste, a dark, sticky paste you find in certain mochi.  When the bride and groom tried to break off a piece of bread, they got a little surprise.   Lucky for me, no one has forgotten that little tiny detail and so we’re still laughing over it years later.

You know, no one believes me when I say it’s hard to find bread for communion.  I know a wedding where a well-meaning friend of the bride brought pretzels.  It wasn’t me!!!

So Summer and I had a great time during that consultation.  Apple is shy and wary of strangers so this was the perfect opportunity to give her time to warm up to me.   She spent the first part of the consultation eyeing me from a distance.  Eventually, her curiousity got the best of her and she was climbing over me to investigate my laptop.  The next time she saw me was at the photo shoot I was old news to her already.  She didn’t even notice me and beelined straight for my big bucket of props.  It was picture perfect and we were able to dive right into her session.

Let’s get to the fun part…ooohing and aaaahing  over how cute she is.  Make sure to scroll to the bottom to see how you can contribute in the contest to win a gift for Apple’s and white photo of a baby girl

bw photos of girl

Photo collage baby on blue blanket

baby crawling in tutu

Exploring the playground

baby playing withs hoes

Taking a break to tie her shoelaces.

playing on the rings

baby reading book

jumping pictures

Flying ballerina

baby pictures Hawaii

Striking eyes

My favorite from the day!

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